HE SECRET is getting out. (Perhaps more slowly than one might prefer…) People are finally discovering the Brébeuf Hymnal to be unlike any other. One of my chant teachers (a priest now living in the United Kingdom) alerted me to an article published yesterday on the New Liturgical Movement blog—published by the Church Music Association of America—by one of their main authors: Dr. Peter Kwasniewski.
The author said the Brébeuf Hymnal is:
“…hands down, the best Catholic hymnal ever to be published. […] Its copious selection of hundreds of tunes and texts, including favorites, forgotten gems, and new commissions, all beautifully formatted and presented in a surprisingly compact hardcover volume, is not only unparalleled by any other current hymnal, but well exceeds that of any hymnal I have seen from any period. […] It is such a fantastic hymnal that it deserves to be in the pews of every Catholic church.”
If you have not examined a copy, I encourage you to pick one up:
Every Sunday, I play four (4) Masses, plus three (3) rehearsals & Solemn Vespers. We use the Brébeuf Hymnal, and it is such a joy! The vocation of a choirmaster is not an easy one, but having this hymnal—with its easy-to-use organ accompaniment stored safely in the organ bench—helps me so very much.
For the record, the author of that NLM article takes issue with Article 1 of “Summorum Pontificum” (a 2007 document issued by Pope Benedict XVI) in terms of certain nomenclature preferences. I suppose each of us would do things our own way if we were Pope, and that author is certainly free to make his preferences public. On the other hand, such arguments do not change the reality of the situation: the Brébeuf Hymnal works very well with both the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form. It is difficult for me to see a compelling reason to hide or “cover up” that reality.